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World's first poop-fueled bus begins operation in UK


Methane

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(NaturalNews) Continental Europe and the UK have been utilizing methane created from waste materials that include human sewage and food waste to generate electric power in smaller regions. Those same power plants that depend on waste matter spoiling under controlled environments to release methane are being deployed to fuel buses in the UK.

Methane is a greenhouse gas (GHG) that's 25 to 35 times worse than carbon dioxide at absorbing heat from solar energy, contributing toward a greenhouse effect many insist is leading us into excess global warming. But waste-power plants create methane using a system which insures the gas is contained and doesn't seep into the air.

Methane powered bus far cleaner than diesel fueled bus

The power plant produced methane, or biogas, which is piped into buses operated by the Bath Bus Company. The buses shuttle people between Bristol Airport and Bath city. Ironically, carbon emissions from the buses using properly produced methane are 30 percent less than buses powered by diesel fuel.

Each "Bio-Bus" carries 40 passengers on the 13 mile trip from Bristol Airport to the oldest tourist town attraction in England, Bath. Each bus can travel 186 miles on a tank of waste produced methane gas. Each month, 10,000 passengers are ferried from the Bristol Airport into Bath and back to the airport, according to a BBC article.

Bath Bus Company's Collin Field, said: "With so much attention being directed towards improving air quality generally, the public reaction to the appearance of this bus on a service between a world heritage city and an airport will further focus on the potential for this particular fuel."

The Bristol Power plant that processes bio-methane from human and food waste used by the Bath Bus Company also supplies electrical power to 8,300 homes. That is the reason Bristol is set to become the European Green Capital next year.

How methane gas or biogas is created and used for transport vehicles

Unfortunately, there are sources of methane that are not under control and do endanger atmospheric and climate scenarios. One such area is the Four Corners region of the USA where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah meet.

Near the region where the states' borders meet lies a vast coal mining bed releasing high amounts of methane uncontrolled into the atmosphere.

However, there are various eco-safe technologies developed for limited use, so far, in the USA and the EU that create synthetic methane gas from farm and industrial waste materials. But the sewage treatment plant in Bristol uses human and food waste to create methane under strict regulations that limit the amount of methane released into the atmosphere to one percent.

The biogas is generated through anaerobic digestion in the power plant sewage treatment complex. That's where oxygen starved bacteria breaks down biodegradable material to produce methane-rich biogas. The biogas is then upgraded by removing carbon dioxide and adding propane, a relatively clean burning gas.

In addition to providing electrical power to thousands of homes, the plant provides vehicular fuel pumps that can pipe in the compressed bio-methane gas into large cylinders on the buses' rooftops.

The Bath bus engines are very similar to diesel engines mechanically, but the computer control systems are readjusted to accommodate proper combustion of methane gas.

It's estimated that one passenger's annual food and sewage waste matter could fuel the Bio-Bus for 37 miles, which may not seem like much energy transference per person until you consider that it's from waste matter transformed into energy use.

Seems like a clever way to exploit waste and waste less resources.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-30115137

http://www.bathbuscompany.com/?start=3

http://www.biofuelstp.eu/biogas.html

http://www.biomethane.org.uk/how-biomethane-is-produced.html

http://www.climatecentral.org

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/greenhouse+gas

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